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Medical Complications in Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa

[ Vol. 18 , Issue. 5 ]

Author(s):

Giovanni Gravina, Walter Milano, Grazia Nebbiai, Carla Piccione and Anna Capasso*   Pages 477 - 488 ( 12 )

Abstract:


Background and Objective: Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and their variants are characterized by persistent alteration of eating behaviour, such as restricted intake or bingeing and purging, as well as excessive concerns about body shape and body weight. Purging behaviour may include self induced vomiting and/or abuse of laxatives, diuretics and physical hyperactivity. Unlike other psychiatric disorders, patients suffering from AN and BN have a high prevalence of many different medical complications, through the sequelae of undernutrition and purging, often with a serious impairment of health status and quality of life. This article describes the main diagnostic and clinical aspects of medical complications in AN and BN.

Results: The medical complications of ED are extremely variable and can occur with only modest biological and physical damage up to extremely serious and life-threatening conditions; the mortality rate of young subjects with AN is 4 - 11% with a risk of death about 12 times higher than that of subjects of the same age of the general population. The management of the medical-internship aspects of AN and BN is rightly placed within complex and articulated programs of interdisciplinary treatment with different levels of intensity of care (outpatient, semi-residential/residential, hospital in cases of emergency/medical and/or psychiatric emergency).

Conclusion: the results of the investigations carried out, describe the functions of the various organs and apparatuses and the alterations detected, the possible complications and physiological adaptations to malnutrition.

Keywords:

Eating disorders, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, medical complications, psychiatric disorders, malnutrition.

Affiliation:

General Medicine and Center for Eating Disorders and Metabolism, San Rossore Clinic, Pisa, Mental Health Unit District 24 ASL Napoli 1 Center, General Medicine and Center for Eating Disorders and Metabolism, San Rossore Clinic, Pisa, General Medicine and Center for Eating Disorders and Metabolism, San Rossore Clinic, Pisa, Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, 84084-Fisciano



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